This article is from 2016, but still has some great ideas for ways to experience Ypsilanti! For updated event dates, click HERE.
Michigan Firehouse Museum
The Michigan Firehouse Museum is the place to indulge your inner firefighter. The Museum features an original 1898 Romanesque Revival style firehouse complete with horse-drawn vehicles, a restored bunk area, and a collection of firefighting gear that gives visitors a glimpse of life in a firehouse circa 1900. Witness the evolution of firefighting in an expansive 12 thousand square foot showcase, with a vast collection of hand, horse, and engine-propelled fire apparatuses. Indulge an inquisitive mind from any generation with extinguishers, bells, helmets, ladders, breathing equipment, hose reels, nozzles, and even toy fire trucks. Small family outings and tour groups alike find the Michigan Firehouse Museum to be an ideal space for gatherings. If you’re looking for an outdoor summer activity, every year the Michigan Firehouse Museum organizes the Fire Truck Muster in Riverside Park with historic and modern fire trucks from around the state. With affordable entry rates and endless opportunities to explore the historic life of a firefighter.
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
Experience automotive history with a visit to the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum (YAHM). This growing, must-see automotive hotspot is housed at the last Hudson dealership in the world and features stories regarding Tucker, the General Motors Willow Run Plant, and Ypsilanti auto related businesses. An official affiliate of MotorCities National Heritage Area, YAHM showcases 30 vintage automobiles, and a collection of advertising, service, repair, and promotional items that were essential to the automobile business of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. YAHM is home to the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum and the National Kaiser-Frazer Museum, offering an all-encompassing experience for true motorheads. The city of Ypsilanti and YAHM offer many unique events to explore automotive heritage such as weekly cruise nights in the summer, the Camaro Superfest, and the Orphan Car Show. Check our calendar to line up your visit to YAHM with an outdoor event.
Yankee Air Museum
The Yankee Air Museum features breathtaking exhibits focused on aviation during major global conflicts throughout the 20th century. Dynamic aircrafts that shaped history along with a local focus on the Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant (home of Rosie the Riveter) give patrons a unique aeronautical experience unlike any other. Visitors can make history come alive by taking flight in historic WWII aircrafts, including the B-17 Flying Fortress or B-25 Mitchell bombers (additional cost and scheduling apply). Explore flight beyond planet Earth in the museum’s Exploration Station and discover several interactive activities such as Flight Simulators and a KC-135 open cockpit. Last but not least, don’t miss out on Yankee Air Museum’s famous annual event, Thunder Over Michigan.
Ypsilanti Historical Society
A brick mansion built in 1860 houses the historical museum where visitors can get a glimpse of Ypsilanti in the 19th century. Purchased by the City of Ypsilanti in 1966, the Ypsilanti Historical Society established the museum in 1970 and continues to use the space to assist with research, oversee preservation efforts, and house extensive archives. Exhibits include local Native American artifacts, relics from 19th century Ypsilanti homes, and other locally focused artifacts (such as Ypsilanti Mineral Water bottles and materials from the Ypsilanti Underwear Factory). Group tours can be arranged by calling for reservations at least a week in advance. Schools, clubs and organizations are welcome. When you’re in the area, be sure to ask about events hosted by Historical Society such as Chautauqua – an in depth examination of Ypsilanti’s geology, history, and culture.